Feeds

Exclusive: IBM's Itanic 2 server

Welcome aboard, red-headed stepchild

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

IBM has finally invited the red-headed stepchild in its server line to join the rest of the family, we can exclusively reveal.

For months, the x450 - IBM's first Itanium 2 server - has been relegated to a minor role in IBM's marketing masterplan, but sources have now disclosed full details.

Even though IBM announced its plans to build an Itanium 2 system in the middle of last year, the company has wavered on support for Intel's chip. IBM makes its own Power processors and does not need the heavily HP-backed Itanium eating into its RISC business just yet.

IBM's reluctance to ship an Itanium 2-based server was made clear earlier this year when an IBM spokesman called Itanium a science project and a top Unix executive said it was his mission to make sure Itanic does not succeed.

Starting today, however, IBM has started shipping the server. We have the full details and news of an important patch for the server, too.

Just the fax

There are a variety of configurations for the four processor system. Users can pick between 900MHz and 1.0GHz Itanium 2 chips. The 1.0GHz processors come in two flavors as well -- one with a 1.5Mbyte Level 3 cache and the other with the large 3Mbyte Level 3 cache.

The 4U high system supports up to 40G bytes of memory. has six PCI-X slots and dual-channel Ultra320 SCSI and Gigabit Ethernet controllers.

The systems use the same Enterprise X-Architecture chipset --code-named Summit -- as IBM's current Xeon servers. Although, IBM is calling it the XA-64 copper-based core logic chipset on the x450.

There have been rumors that IBM has had some trouble getting the x450 out the door due to memory controller problems.

Deepak Advani, vice president of xSeries servers at IBM, would not confirm any such problem and said that IBM's delays in getting an Itanium 2-based system out have not hurt it when competiting with HP, although the company did lose some business to its rival.

"To my knowledge, we have not lost a lot of deals to HP as far as Itanium is concerned," he said.

Bugfix

IBM has certainly had a problem with keyboard support on the x450. A USB keyboard will from time to time generate extra characters when a user types. IBM users have seen between 10-20 extra characters pop up on screen. This problem, however, should be fixed by June 6, our sources say.

An x450 with one 900MHz Itanic 2 will start at $25,999. The price stretches up to $40,799 for a server with two 1.0GHz chips.

Once this system hits the market, Dell will be the last major Wintel vendor left to join the Itanic 2 party. The company is expected to wait until Madison chips come out later this year to ship its systems.

It's unclear how hard IBM will push the x450. It is after all still a bastard child in its 64bit line of systems. For the time being, however, the x450 will get a place at the table in those nice customer dinners. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.